Should Jesus be in the picture?

The motherhouse of the Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart in Towson is a peaceful campus. (Suzanna Molino Singleton)

While volunteering at the Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart center this week, I was snapping a photo of a sister for use in a newsletter I had designed for their Mission Advancement department.

“How about you stand here,” I said, as I situated Sister Liz Langmead, president, between a large crucifix and a stained glass window, “because Jesus should be in the picture, right?”

“Jesus should be everywhere,” she said.

I thought how nice it is that the staff and community of sisters are able to work and live around religious icons all day, with access to several lovely and quiet chapels peppered off the hallways. Easy access to go kneel and toss up a few quick (or long) prayer flares as they’re going about their day. Cool, right?

Such an environment could only affect a person’s spiritual mood.

“I do feel at peace here,” said Lydia Madsen, Mission Advancement Administrative Assistant. “And yes, my surroundings definitely have an impact on my day and faith.”

Jesus is definitely in the picture as the first one to greet visitors and residents at this Towson building on Chestnut Avenue, in the form of a hefty bronze statue in the Mission Helper Center’s circular driveway. One of his arms is outstretched, palm open; the other touches his “sacred heart.” It feels soothing – and reminds me who it is I am actually serving while there.

“Teaching Hearts, Changing Lives,” the slogan of the Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart, is displayed at the religious community’s Towson motherhouse. (Suzanna Molino Singleton)

The community’s slogan, “touching hearts … changing lives,” is inscribed on the welcoming wall in the lobby, and on promotional pieces and displays elsewhere.

I wonder … if all employees everywhere, working at all types of companies, were surrounded daily by crucifixes, stained glass windows, altars, chapels, Blessed Mothers, and religious statues, would their work environment feel more peaceful, less hectic, contain fewer conflict, and be safer? You know – by adding Jesus to the picture.

(Hmmm, yea … in a perfect world.)

Although that will never be the situation on our planet, at least the sisters and staff at the Mission Helper Center can reap the benefits of their holy environment. It must be effective, too, because I often receive hugs as I arrive. Everyone is warm, friendly and calm.

So yes, by all means, Jesus should be in the picture.

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Suzanna Molino Singleton

Suzanna Molino Singleton

Suzanna Molino Singleton is a native Baltimorean and parishioner of St. Leo Church in Little Italy. A former staff correspondent for the Catholic Review, she launched her "Snippets of Faith" blog for the Catholic Review in June 2018. Suzanna is the creator of a weekly e-column, SNIPPETS Inspiration (since 2006), and the author of seven books, including Baltimore’s Little Italy: Heritage and History of The Neighborhood. Email Suzanna at 29angels@comcast.net.